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Home3PL/4PLTruckers stage protest to suspend PPA permit to operate requirement

Truckers stage protest to suspend PPA permit to operate requirement

  • The Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations is currently staging a protest to press for a moratorium on implementation of the Philippine Ports Authority requirement for a permit to operate
  • The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines and Inland Haulers and Truckers Association also plan to hold a trucking holiday on November 22 for the same reason
  • CTAP is raising other issues, such as the online registration for MICT Pass, which began implementation on November 1, while reiterating calls to abolish the Truck Appointment Booking System

The Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO) on November 18 said it is currently staging a protest to demand a moratorium on implementation of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) requirement for a permit to operate (PTO).

As of this writing, there are no reports of port disruptions due to this activity.

The group said on Nov 19 it will continue its protest, subject to a daily assessment of the situation.

The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) and Inland Haulers and Truckers Association (INHTA) also plan to stage a trucking holiday on November 22 in objection to the PTO requirement, among other issues.

In a statement on November 18, ACTOO said it “can no longer hold off the intensifying sentiments of truckers to demand for answers from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on the implementation of MC [Memorandum Circular] 19-2021.”

READ: PPA implements “no permit, no service” policy for truckers nationwide

“The deafening silence and the apparent indifference of the PPA fanned the unrest of the sector [which] has now reached a boiling point. The situation definitely calls for an immediate and appropriate action,” ACTOO said.

The group said it has exhausted all channels to appeal for a moratorium on the policy until all contentious issues are resolved, to no avail.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) earlier wrote PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago to “strongly recommend” a moratorium pending the policy’s review. ACTOO noted that Trade and Industry representatives present during previous meetings hosted by ARTA also showed support for the truckers’ plea for a moratorium.

READ: ARTA backs truckers’ call extending moratorium on permit to operate

PPA MC 19-2021, dated October 13, provided a moratorium until October 31, 2021 on the requirement for trucking companies to secure a PTO. The PTO is required under PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 09-2020 which provides revised guidelines on the issuance of PTO for the provision of ancillary services in PPA ports.

Providers of ancillary services, such as, among others, trucking, freight forwarding, shipping agent, bunkering, laundering, and lighterage/barging, need to secure a Certificate of Accreditation (CA) and a PTO from PPA to be able to render services at the ports.

The PTO policy was not initially implemented on truckers, prompting PPA to impose a deadline of October 15 for compliance, later extended to October 31 through MC 19-2021.

When the moratorium ended on October 31, truckers that had no PTO or had not applied and paid for one were barred from entering Manila port terminals starting November 1.

ACTOO, CTAP and INHTA earlier said the request for a moratorium was premised on the majority of members still not having a PTO.

ACTOO refuted a PPA statement claiming some truckers refused to comply with the requirement to secure permits, saying they had committed during a virtual meeting with PPA’s Santiago to facilitate the roll-out of the policy “as soon as loose ends are tied and all details are ironed out.”

The group noted truckers were not against registration per se since they have secured a PTO even before, but that they were questioning the duplicity of the requirement for a CA on top of the PTO.

PPA AO 06-2019, issued in 2019, requires all port service providers to secure a CA from PPA before the award of port services contract or PTO is issued.

Truckers have been asking PPA to exempt them from accreditation, saying the requirement is redundant and burdensome as they are already required to secure a PTO and comply with accreditation rules of other government agencies such as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Land Transportation Office.

INHTA on November 19 said it is asking that the PTO moratorium be issued until January 2022 and for PPA to sit down with truckers to iron out issues, such as the duplication of the PTO and CA.

INHTA president Teodorico Gervacio earlier said some members who tried to apply for a PTO online encountered difficulty connecting to the PPA system despite repeated tries, and ended up not applying at all.

Nov 22 trucking “rest day”

In a separate statement, CTAP said it plans to hold a trucking “rest day” on November 22 to demand a moratorium on the implementation of MC 19-2021 and to raise several other issues, such as the online registration for the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) Pass, implemented starting November 1. MICT Pass is for registration of trucks and drivers transacting with the MICT.

In a letter to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, CTAP said MICT’s policy was implemented without consulting truckers and even when truckers were already being subjected to PPA’s PTO requirement.

CTAP claimed its “abrupt implementation without proper consultation from port stakeholders caused financial burden [to] members and hampers their respective operations due to penalties incurred occasioned by the technical and system glitches” of the online registration.

CTAP president Maria Zapata, in a phone interview with PortCalls, said they are hoping all their members, numbering around 1,300 with about 8,000 truck units, will join their planned “rest day” on November 22.

CTAP also wrote PPA’s Santiago on October 28 saying it opposes MICT’s new requirement and stands with PPA’s policy that trucking operators with valid PTO can operate in any PPA port without the need for additional registration.

Moreover, CTAP is again requesting for the suspension of Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS), a government-approved system that requires port stakeholders to secure an online appointment before trucks can enter Manila’s international container terminals to discharge and/or pick up cargo. TABS was piloted in October 2015 and fully implemented on March 16, 2016. Some truckers until now have difficulty with the system and are calling for its abolition. – Roumina Pablo

(Updated on Nov 19, 2:45 pm to include INHTA statement that its members will also participate in a trucking holiday on Nov 22.)

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